Katie Kalisz

Calling Unemployment Once-A-Week in Michigan

     
   

                                                                        If you make a mistake you may start over
            Bead of sweat     seconds tick     wind

blows

        Were you physically able and available for work each day?
Nod.   Press small “1” on keypad.     You are not excused;    
                                 you will be asked an additional question.

Did you make an active search for work as directed during the week you are now claiming?
                    You are not excused.      Nod.   press small “1” on keypad.

                  Did you refuse any offer of work or fail
              to go for a scheduled job interview?       (interview   interview    interview)

                        Mirage of rippling water in August humidity.

                         You will be required to provide       (even if you have not actually been paid).
            Shake.                         Press “2” on keypad.

Did you or will you receive            (you will be required to provide)
                        holiday pay from your regular employer for any day of the week?   
If you are not sure
shake  
                and press “2.”

            Did you or will you receive                                   (you will be required to provide)
      vacation pay of the week you are claiming?  Press “2” on keypad.        

Did you or will you receive pay       (you will be required to provide)
         in lieu of notice or termination pay for any day of the week you are claiming?
                                                                      If you are not sure           you are not excused.

Did you work in self-employment? 

Did you work for any employer last week?    (you will be required to provide)    
            Shake.

Not even one? 
Not even part time?

Did you perform duty
in the Military Reserve
or National Guard
for more than 72
consecutive hours?

Shake.

Did you do anything
productive
at
all
since
you last called?

If you are not sure
shake.

Do you expect      (anything)  (anymore)   to be working
for the same employer next week?                                          If
                        you answer no,
                                                was your separation from employment due to:

1. Lack of work?
2. Reduced hours due to a lack of work?
3. Being fired?
4. Quitting?
5. Some other reason?

       a. Incompetance
       b. Bad luck
       c. Poor hygiene
       d. Stress at home
       e. Such awe at having a job you forgot to work

Did you have any other reportable earnings?   You will be required to provide          (you will be required to provide
                                                even if you have not actually been paid).
            babysitting, lawn-mowing, found pennies, can-collecting

If you make a mistake you may start over    
If you make a mistake you may start over    
If you make a mistake you may start over    

     
           
 
      return to poetry
 

Katie Kalisz is an assistant professor of english at Grand Rapids Community College where she teaches composition, women's literature, and poetry. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Loyola University of Chicago, and recently earned her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her poems have also appeared in Big Scream and The Dunes Review. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their two - soon-to-be three - children.